Construction continues at Piazza Alta at the intersection of 2nd Street and in Northern Liberties. Developed by Post Brothers, the multi-building project is the latest addition to The Piazza, a major mixed-use development that anchors one of the hottest and fastest-growing neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The 1.2-million-square-foot-plus Alta currently offers 695 rental apartments that range from studios to three-bedroom-plus penthouses that boast luxury finishes and dramatic skyline views that open from the 12-story-plus towers. A stand-out feature of the extensive amenity package is Aqua Foro, a 25,000-square-foot pool club that features numerous interconnected pools and hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, a kids’ splash pad, and poolside cabanas.
Since the turn of the millennium, Northern Liberties has undergone a renaissance that transformed the formerly industrial neighborhood into a pedestrian-friendly residential district with a burgeoning with retail and nightlife scene. Developers large and small rediscovered the advantages of the transit-rich, centrally located neighborhood, which sits within proximate distance to Center City, Fishtown, Temple University, and the Delaware River, and offers a rich stock of industrial factory loft buildings ripe for conversion.
During this time, The Piazza, developed in multiple phases, took the lead in reinventing the district into the vibrant neighborhood that it is today. The site of The Piazza formerly housed the Schmidt’s Brewery, once the city’s largest. One of the former brewery buildings has since been renovated into Piazza Montesino, a loft residence with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and rough-hewn wooden ceilings.
Other components of The Piazza consist of Navona, where two avant-garde mid-rise buildings frame a public plaza and a ground-level pool club, The Cove, a sibling amenity to Aqua Foro, and Liberties Walk, where a pair of rowhouse-inspired apartment buildings line a cozy pedestrian arcade with ample outdoor dining.
Alta, the latest addition to The Piazza, offers a collection of residences that makes an impact both on the skyline and at the street level, with its ground-level retail and public promenades.
Rather than relying on a singular formula for every new addition, each successive phase of The Piazza has contributed its own unique flair to the development. While Alta further expands upon The Piazza’s well-established urban planning approach of walkable, pedestrian-friendly public arcades with ground-level retail, the development’s most dramatic feature is elevated above the street.
The Aqua Foro Pool Club, situated atop a multi-story parking garage, reimagines the typically forlorn concrete parking deck as a serene and luxuriant water recreation amenity. The 25,000-square-foot facility with swim, play, and relaxation areas stands out thanks to its unconventional, at once urban and ethereal, appearance.
The “Foro” part of the club’s name alludes to the ancient Roman Forum with a timeless sensibility that evokes a sense of “architectural sublime”. The pared-down, asymmetrical arches, terraces, and trellises at Aqua Foro capture a sense of ancient grandeur while also tapping into the indulgent side of ancient Rome, famed for its palatial bath houses that served as places of both socialization and respite.
Concurrently, Aqua Foro’s sleek forms channel a certain retro-futurist feel with a distinctly Modernist aesthetic. Rising from the pool, arches, patios, and sun decks ingeniously blur the line between indoor and outdoor space, solid surface and water, rest and active entertainment to frame dramatic views of the skyline. The infinity-edge pool spans over 10,000 square feet of water surface, with a kids’ splash-pad and a water-surrounded fire pit.
As an added bonus, residents of the nearby Piazza apartments overlooking the space get to enjoy views of the creative waterworks amenity, rather than looking out onto a car-crowded concrete deck that would typically cap a multi-story parking garage in an average development.
Adding further variety to the already diverse architectural typologies at The Piazza, Alta’s apartments are situated within a high-rise structure that channels a distinctive contemporary flair while paying homage to the area’s prewar factory lofts via floor-to-ceiling paneled windows and an understated yet sophisticated brick-and-steel exterior.
The residences at Alta range from studios to 4-bedrooms as well as townhome options with the choice from 3 different finish palettes: Timeless, Scandinavian, and Sleek. Each palette boasts Brazilian oak hardwood floors, ceiling fans in every room, in-unit washer/dryers, and balconies in select apartments.
The kitchens offer quartz countertops with slab backsplashes, stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry with under-cabinet lighting, and oversized sinks. The bathrooms come with solid surface counters with undermount sinks, sizable vanity cabinets, illuminated medicine cabinets, and showers with glass doors, benches, and waterfall shower heads. Certain units feature oversized soaking tubs.
Reflective of the ever-rising upmarket cachet of Northern Liberties, Piazza Alta offers sprawling penthouse units with private outdoor terraces and rents registering at up to $12,995 per month.
In addition to Aqua Foro, Piazza Alta’s amenity package also includes the largest residential fitness center in the city, a co-working space and cafe, an entertainment lounge with an outdoor deck, private garage parking for cars and bicycles, and round-the-clock concierge services.
With over 25,000 square feet of fitness and recovery facilities, including a sizable outdoor terrace and yoga deck, Alta offers one of the largest residential health and wellness centers in Philadelphia. The expansive space offers state-of-the-art fitness technology and features, with dedicated areas for cardio, group fitness, strength, HIIT and recovery, Peloton bicycles, Wellbeats and live classes, Racer Pro ski simulator, SkiErg, Hydrorowers, and more.
The 10,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor co-working space features seating areas, conference rooms, a fireplace, and an observation deck.
Over the years, The Piazza has served as a major driver behind the ongoing renaissance of Northern Liberties. With its nearly 700 units, Alta, the latest addition to the multi-block development, not only adds a significant volume of much-needed housing stock to the neighborhood, but, with Aqua Foro, also offers one of the most unique large-scale residential amenities in the city.